Ski touring

There are plenty of good ski touring spots around La Meije. You can ski tour above and behind Chazelet, on the scenic Emparis Plateau, in the Ecrins National Park, at the Lautaret and Galibier mountain passes or on the glaciers of the Meije Massif.

La Grave, a ski touring destination

Around La Grave, there are  numerous ski touring routes at all levels : Open snow fields and panoramic ridges in the south facing slopes of the valley that are perfect for beginners and intermediates, plenty of routes for experienced ski tourers as well as ski mountaineering routes for expert backcountry skiers.

  • Starting from the top station of the La Grave cable car : Routes on the Girose Glacier, towards the Dôme de la Lauze and Selle Valley, descents towards La Bérarde or Saint-Christophe-en-Oisans, the short version of the Tour of la Meije, the Enfetchores.
  • Starting from the Chazelet Ski Area : The Emparis Plateau, the Gros Têt, the Buffe Valley, the Mas de la Grave Peak, the Signal de la Grave.
  • Starting from the hamlets of La Grave : The Signal de La Grave and the Goléon Valley.
  • Starting from the Col du Lautaret : The Combeynot, the Col des Clochettes, the Col du Laurichard, the Col de Côte Plaine.
  • Starting from Villar d’Arène : all routes in the Ecrins National Park, the Chamossière and Alpe de Villar Mountain Huts, the Col d’Arsine, Adèle Planchard, the Col des Clots de Cavale.

Preparing your ski tour

Winter touring is not risk free. You must take into account the weather and the avalanche risk and choose a route that suits your skill level, your physical condition, your knowledge of the mountains as well as the snow conditions. Do not hesitate to explore with a mountain guide or a ski instructor.

What equipment do you need on a ski tour ? How do you prepare your ski tour ? Here you will find the advice of the mountain professionals of the Hautes Vallées  - La Grave, la Clarée and l’Izoard.

The pros' advice

Ski touring or split board touring with a guide or a ski instructor

Ski touring demands a good understanding of the winter mountains, the capacity to estimate risks related to the terrain and to identify avalanche risk zones. If you have little or no experience when it comes to navigating the winter mountain environment, it is highly recommended to go ski touring with a mountain professional. Mountain guides and ski instructors can guide you on your ski tour. You can join a public group or hire a guide or ski instructor for a private group. Both the mountain guides and the ski instructors organise outings at all levels, from beginner to expert. You can go on a half-day introduction tour, on a day tour on skis or on a splitboard, or you can go on a multiday trek on some of the most beautiful routes of the Ecrins, Oisans and Hautes-Alpes. The mountain guides of La Grave also organise outings where you will learn how to prepare your ski tour, how choose a good route and how to use the security equipment. You can also practise avalanche rescue with the ski patrol at the La Grave cable car or follow an avalanche course with mountain professionals.

9 fiches

Ski de randonnée au claire de Lune avec l'ESF

Partir en randonnée au moment où d’autres rentrent à la station :
L’impression que la montagne est vraiment toute à vous…

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Faire sa trace dans la poudreuse - ESF - La Grave - © @ESF La Grave-LaMeije

Journée ski de randonnée avec l'ESF

Le Chazelet, Col du Lautaret, .., La Grave

Journée ski de randonnée avec l'ESF

Sur les sommets, au grand air de préférence.....
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Band of Boarders freeride ski & snowboard camp

For over 17 years,Tina and Francky Moranval will share unforgettable days of pure freeride skiing or snowboarding in a majestic scenery that is the area of La Meije in a friendly…

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Demi-journée initiation ski de randonnée avec ESF La Grave La Meije

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Ski Touring with one or several Overnight in a Refuge with the Mountain Guides of La Grave

Touring on skis or snowboard is a unique experience where you access to runs far from the crowds. Multiple day tours, easy or difficult, everyone can find a tour suiting his/her desires and…

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Ski areas are closed, but skiing is still allowed... and training is highly recommended!

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Journée ski de randonnée niveau intermédiaire avec le bureau des guides de la Grave

Partez pour une superbe randonnée à skis dans l'un des itinéraires classiques du secteur.

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Offre ski de randonnée - L'autonomie vers les sommets à portée de spatule avec le bureau des guides

Journée formation sécurité montagne hivernale. La montagne en hiver devient un terrain de jeux exceptionnel, magnifique mais pour autant complexe à appréhender.

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online booking

Ski les Enfetchores La Grave La Meije - © Benjamin Ribeyre

Ski touring with mountain guides

Bureau des Guides, La Grave

Ski touring with mountain guides

Touring on skis or snowboard is a unique experience where you access to runs far from the crowds. Single to multiple day tours, easy or difficult, everyone can find a tour suiting his/her…

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Rent ski touring equipment

You can rent ski touring equipment and avalanche security equipment in La Grave, Villar d’Arène or Chazelet.

Where to rent ski touring gear

Ski touring routes

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Ski touring from Le Chazelet

Nestled in a valley, the small resort of Le Chazelet combines the pleasure of a cosy, family atmosphere and a high-mountain environment. It's always great to set off on a ski-touring route…

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Écrins high route - Ski touring

The Ecrins High Route will take you into a marvellous, snow-filled world that will haunt you for ages. Crossing the Ecrins mountain range takes you close to 4000 m peaks and over passes,…

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Ski Touring at the Aiguillon Ridge.

Discover the art of ski touring with one of our two marked itineraries starting from the village of Villar D'Arène. This one leads you to a viewpoint at 2095 meters high called The…

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Randonnée - © jselberg

Freerando from La Grave

Place du Téléphérique, La Grave

Freerando from La Grave

3200 m of pure pleasure: the top of this cable car takes you into the heart of the mountains, in a unique, natural landscape that is completely untouched, yet within the reach of most…

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Ski touring starting from Les Hières

Les Hières, one of the pretty villages suspended above La Grave with an uncompromising view over the sparkling Meije, is a wonderful starting point for the entire Goléon sector. And as a…

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Freerando starting from Lautaret Pass

The Col du Lautaret is well-known as a paradise for snow-kiters, but this also applies to free-rando skiing! Easy access by road, slopes for all tastes and calf muscles, idyllic scenery and…

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Ski touring from Villar d'Arène (pont d'Arsine)

A valley end with a myriad of possibilities. Arsine is the endless promise of a host of incredible routes, immense possibilities depending on your taste, mood and the snow. Add to this the…

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Pontet Lake ski touring itinerary

Discover the art of ski touring with one of our two marked itineraries starting from the village of Villar D'Arène. This one takes you up to Pontet Lake.

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Ski touring from Villar d'Arène

On the southern side, there aren't so many options, but it is so beautiful! The charm of the village and the excellent local produce awaits your return, exhausted but happy! Villar d'Arène…

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High Route : le Tour de la Meije

The Meije… Here, she's called Queen Meije. Her sharp edges soaring up to the skies, her tapered shape, history and late, dogged conquest, all enhance her insolent beauty.

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Ski Mountaineering starting from La Grave

La Grave is the largest off-piste skiing area in Europe. And it's only a short step from off-piste skiing to ski-touring… or rather several hundred metres of height gain. The…

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Freerando starting from Le Chazelet

From the top of the Emparis ski lift, you have a great view over the whole area to plan your route, take your skins on and off and choose your runs. Bliss! Les Plagnes, to the north of the…

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Ski touring holidays

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XPerience Freeride and Ski Touring

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Raid à ski dans les Ecrins - Traversée et ascension du Dôme avec Azimut

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Le tour de la Meije avec Paulo Grobel

Le Tour de la Meije à ski est l’un des plus beaux et certainement le plus marquant des raids à ski en terrain glaciaire des Écrins.

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Séjour d’initiation au ski de randonnée à La Grave avec Paulo Grobel

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Tour de la Meije à ski de randonnée avec Azimut

Trois jours pour effectuer le tour de la Meije à ski de randonnée, c’ est un des plus beaux raid qui puisse se faire... Un séjour tout compris avec guide de haute montagne.

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Xperience Ski touring initiation WE

We'll offer you over this weekend, to discover in the company of a Mountain Guide, the joy and freedom feeling of freeride.
The La Grave village welcomes you with its simple but warm and…

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Stage Neige & Avalanche ANENA 2021, au refuge du Goléon

Durant ces trois jours au refuge du Goléon, je vous propose un stage de ski de randonnée dédié à l’étude de la neige et des avalanches, principalement sur le terrain.

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XPérience tour de la Meije - © ©BureauDesGuides

XPerience Ski around La Meije

Bureau des Guides, La Grave

XPerience Ski around La Meije

We offer you during this weekend to discover in the company of a Mountain Guide the jewel of our massif : the path around La Meije! Two days of ski mountaineering will allow us to approach…

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« Du Goléon au Mont Thabor » à ski avec Paulo Grobel

Un grand raid original qui, depuis la Grave, vous conduira jusqu’au cœur du massif des Cerces, au sommet du Mont Thabor.
Projet idéal pour un premier grand raid et pour oser une itinérance…

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Ski touring in Les Cerces massif with le Bureau des Guides of La Grave.

A 4 day trip ski touring in marvellous hidden parts of Les Cerces near Serre Chevalier resort and the city of Monetier les Bains

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Xperience Ski Touring 3 days to discover the Cerces massif

Three days of ski touring in the mountains of Les Cerces to discover the joys of the ski touring !! The Cerces is an Alps massif on the French-Italian border. On the French side, it…

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Initiation au ski de rando au Pays de la Meije avec l'hôtel le Faranchin

* Séjour organisé avec les hôteliers randonneurs *
Amateur de grands espaces et de liberté, venez vous inspirer dans un cadre naturel et préservé. Vous apprécierez, au prix de vos efforts,…

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Découverte du ski de rando à La Grave avec Azimut

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Premier raid au Pays de la Meije « Entre Goléon et Pic du Mas de La Grave ».

C’est la construction de deux nouveaux refuges au-dessus de La Grave, le refuge du Goléon et celui du Pic du Mas de La Grave qui a permis l’émergence de cet itinéraire en boucle entre les…

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Two new waymarked winter touring routes give beginner ski tourers a choice between the Pontet Lake and the Aiguillon Ridge, both offering stunning views of the Ecrins Massif and the Romanche Valley.The Pontet Lake route is level 1 and the Aiguillon Ridge route is level 2. Both start from Villar d’Arène, opposite the Hôtel Les Agneaux. Free access.

The routes are marked by orange range poles during the winter season, but they are not secured. A security commission decides whether to open the routes or not, depending on the snow conditions. Please respect their descision, On the information board at the start of the routes, you will find advice on how to prepare your ski tour. There is also an avalanche beacon check point. On the information board at the arrival on the Aiguillon Ridge you will find advice for the descent. 

You can get information on the current snow conditions at the Mountain Guides Office (+33 (0)4 76 79 90 21,  They also organise ski touring training days where you learn about the snow pack, avalanche rescue, how to follow and set a track, risk management.

As these routes are not secured, you go on your own responsibility. On the information board at the start of the routes, you will find advice on how to prepare your tour :


The legendary Tour of la Meije is a ski mountaineering classic you should not miss out on. It is an alpine ski tour that demands a very good level of proficiency both in skiing and ski mountaineering as well as a very good physical condition. The high route goes around an iconic peak at the heart of the Ecrins Massif. It will take you over high passes with breathtaking views, over numerous glaciers and down unforgettable hills. The huts that are perched up high provide a unique chance to admire the sun rising and setting over the great Alpine summits.


Practical info: Ski touring towards La Meije

The Tour of la Meije can be done on skis in 3 to 6 days, starting from Arsine - Villar d’Arène or La Bérarde. It crosses 5 high mountain passes with a total of close to 5000 m (16 400 ft) uphill. It is possible to do a short version in two days, starting from the top station of the La Grave cable car.

The hut keepers in the Ecrins Massif created a website which gives you all the practical information you need to plan your ski tour around la Meije and on the Haute Route des Ecrins. Remember to check the current conditions by calling the mountain huts, mountain guides’ offices and by consulting the weather and avalanche forecasts. Don’t hesitate to hire a mountain guide to accompany you on this very demanding route.

Prepare your Tour of la Meije



During your ski tour, remember that wild animals such as chamois, ptarmigans and black grouse need to be left  in peace most especially in the winter. Their survival hangs by a thread when snow is deep and food rare. Below you will find the advice of the Ecrins National Park on how to avoid disturbing them.